Joshua 3:6: Instructions for Crossing Jordan, Part 4

Verse 6:[1]  And Joshua spake unto the priests, saying, (Num. 4:15) Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass over before the people.  And they took up the ark of the covenant, and went before the people.

[And he says to the priests, Take up]  [The Roman Catholic interpreters ask, in what manner Joshua commanded the Priests; and they respond, He did not command as a political Prince, but as a Prophet (thus Bonfrerius after Masius).]

Take up the ark, to wit, upon your shoulders; for so they were to carry it, Numbers 7:9.

[And go before]  The priests were thus to be instructed, because the customary order was changed.  No one, except with God going before, is able to enter into that blessed land (Masius).

Before the people; not in the middle of them, as you used to do.

[And they walked]  Neither hesitating nor hanging back.  Surely this is great faith (Masius).

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ אֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִ֣ים לֵאמֹ֔ר שְׂאוּ֙ אֶת־אֲר֣וֹן הַבְּרִ֔ית וְעִבְר֖וּ לִפְנֵ֣י הָעָ֑ם וַיִּשְׂאוּ֙ אֶת־אֲר֣וֹן הַבְּרִ֔ית וַיֵּלְכ֖וּ לִפְנֵ֥י הָעָֽם׃

1 thought on “Joshua 3:6: Instructions for Crossing Jordan, Part 4

  1. Matthew Henry: “The priests were ordered to take up the ark and carry it before the people, Joshua 3:6. It was the Levites’ work ordinarily to carry the ark, Numbers 4:15. But on this great occasion the priests were ordered to do it. And they did as they were commanded, took up the ark, and did not think themselves disparaged, went before the people, and did not think themselves exposed; the ark they carried was both their honour and their defence. And now we may suppose that prayer of Moses used, when the ark set forward (Numbers 10:35), Rise up, Lord and let they enemies be scattered. Magistrates are here instructed to stir up ministers to their work, and to make use of their authority for the furtherance of religion. Ministers must likewise learn to go before in the way of God, and not to shrink nor draw back when dangers are before them. They must expect to be most struck at, but they know whom they have trusted.”

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